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Maps of Meaning

Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
Length: 30 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,673 ratings)
Regular price: $49.00
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Publisher's Summary

Jordan B. Peterson's Maps of Meaning is now available for the first time as an audio download!  

Why have people from different cultures and eras formulated myths and stories with similar structures? What does this similarity tell us about the mind, morality, and structure of the world itself? From the author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos comes a provocative hypothesis that explores the connection between what modern neuropsychology tells us about the brain and what rituals, myths, and religious stories have long narrated. A cutting-edge work that brings together neuropsychology, cognitive science, and Freudian and Jungian approaches to mythology and narrative, Maps of Meaning presents a rich theory that makes the wisdom and meaning of myth accessible to the critical modern mind.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2002 Jordan B. Peterson (P)2018 Random House Audio

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This is NOT an easy book

Jordan Peterson has claimed on twitter (multiple times) that 12 Rules for Life is a good introduction to Maps of Meaning.

Bullsh*t.

This book is FAR more difficult to follow than 12 Rules. It wasn't written for the general public. It's in a different galaxy.

It is, however, a great book, but I can tell I'm going to have to listen to it at least twice to absorb what Peterson is saying.

If you love JBP, you'll enjoy this book, but be warned: this milkshake is extremely thick.

307 of 326 people found this review helpful

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profound.

Over the last couple years Dr. Peterson has come into his own and to the attention of the general public with his beliefs which resonates with many conservatives. His detractors would dismiss him and his views and just assume he's just another unintelligent right wing fear mongerer. I've seen videos with people utterly dismissing his ideas because they are of another political view.

Listening to this book, you begin to realize that Dr. Peterson thinks at a higher level than most people. His political opinions have been formed not out of personal agenda, rather from deep philosophical understanding of how we as humans come to the beliefs we do. This book is a mix between developmental psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology. Our beliefs and reactions to what is happening in the world around us (the unknown) has been shaped by centuries of myths that effect the culture around us. You also begin to realize just how intelligent and profound his thinking is. When he formulates an opinion, you can be sure, he's not shooting off the hip, rather he has processed his opinion at a much higher level that 99.9% of his detractors would ever consider.

That being said, this would be much better read than listened to. This doesn't follow like a lecture, but rather a text book. I often times caught myself flipping back 30 seconds to have him repeat a statement because what he just read was so complicated and profound, I needed to hear it a few times in order to process it properly. I have a degree in psychology and still find it difficult to fully grasp some of his statements at first pass.

At times the material is dry. It is still necessary as he formulates arguments. But I find my mind drifiting. Unless I give it my full attention, I often have to back up and re-listen to sections. This is not background sound, but something that demands full engagement.

149 of 160 people found this review helpful

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PDF Available on Actual Computer

I haven't finished the book yet (will revise review), but I couldn't respond to other reviews so I'm putting the info here. I couldn't find the PDF on my phone, but managed to find it on my computer in the browser. Check your library; under "Download," it should say "View PDF."

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant Seminal Work (Figures Unreadable)

Maps of meaning is a seminal work that for the first time integrates modern scientific reasoning with the worlds of mythology, religion, psychology, neurology, and philosophy. It explains how the underlying "animal" brain of homo sapiens has become the vessel for human cognition as we now understand it; and how culture and values, even unstated and not understood by those who carry them, are transmitted and disseminated from mind to mind, across society, and through time in the evolution of culture.

For most readers who are not students of arcane mythology and theology, much of the middle part of the book is a tedious academic treatment that beats the dead horse of the author's well proven thesis, but the author should be excused for the unrelenting assault in this magnum opus as the concepts he presents are scientifically and philosophically revolutionary and "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

The Audible reading is well performed by the author, but a major problem with the Audible presentation is the poor quality of the accompanying pdf diagrams, many of which contain text or detail which is simply not legible. Why not redraw the artwork with high resolution images?

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Life Changing Book

Having read both this and 12 rules for life has been extremely transformative for me. As a 27 year old man, I feel like I now have a path and a guide to lead a meaningful life. I will be listening to this audiobook for many years to come. Also, I am very happy that Peterson decided to do the narration, its like he is talking to me directly. :)

113 of 127 people found this review helpful

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Shocking. Shockingly good. Holy...

Jordan Peterson says this work is a tough read. I beg to differ.

After churning though what feels like ancient tomes of philosophy for the past months, listening to this feels absolutely exhilarating. Lets go through some points - 1. Penned in my native language (the awkward cadence of translation is not to be found here!) 2. Succinct scientific approach to some of the most mulled over epistemology and moral, and general philosophy questions of all time. Compared to the works of Nietzsche I've combed through - though absolutely packed with brilliance - the relative ease of understanding in this book feels like thick, viscous, pure intellectual heroine!!!! I do not say this lightly!

I love how Peterson nests Psychology with it's undoubtedly kindred discipline, philosophy. As a psychology major, hearing him use the terminology I've learned really helps integrate the knowledge into my sort of "mushy grey database". Eloquently put, yeah.

Sorry, needless to say I'm a bit excited over the book. Currently I'm 6 and 1/2 hours in, and going strong. Thank you so much for this insanely erudite and lucid work! Please though, you don't need to be so humble!

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Amazingly told

this definitely shook and rattled my understanding of meaning. often required me to take a pause and think, sometimes hear a chapter over again upon reflecting the contents of it. great book and thank you Jordan B. Peterson for all your work.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Pure Gold

Holds up 18 years later, Dr Peterson at his best, narration couldn't be any better

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Get ready for some heavy mental exercise

I have listened to many of Jordan Peterson's lectures and listened to the 12 Rules for Life. This audiobook is much heavier and more detailed than most of the previous material.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Mythology, Ideology, and Value

Dr. Peterson does a wonderful job in his book examining quite comprehensively various forms of practical wisdom embedded into religious myth, and explores the the historical ramifications of the value systems subsequently derived and maintained by human societies throughout their development, particularly that of western culture.

I feel that the book and the topics it explores are, or at least have become in recent years quite timeless as it employs a thorough study of the conception of and nature of ideological beliefs inherently sprung from the human individual and subsequent culture as viewed through a historical lens.

While the book is quite dense in its material, the audio version of it makes it immensely approachable. It is aided additionally by it being narrated by the author himself. I would recommend it therefor especially to people who want to delve into the material and form a grasp of Peterson's arguments but are shied away by the book's daunting density on paper.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 06-13-18

Don't hesitate. Just buy it.

A dozen hours in and this audiobook has already proved lifechanging. The scope of Peterson’s erudition, the depth of his insight and the message drawn from both is nothing less than incredible. In a culture that typically settles for pabulum this feels like something posted from a better world.

I absolutely implore you, don’t believe the trash printed about Peterson in the media. Ignore all the slurs, petty insults and lies. This is the work of a truly great man. And it will improve you if you engage with it.

I cannot rate the book highly enough. Listening to it has given me back two of the cornerstones in my life I'd despaired of ever finding again—meaning and hope.

63 of 65 people found this review helpful

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  • bradley
  • 06-21-18

Interesting but hard to follow and intense

I think this is one of those books that you have to come back to in life as there's some much to take in , I must say what I wouldn't do for that man's vocabulary I spent a lot of time with the dictionary so far great non the less

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Andreas Andersen
  • 07-12-18

Difficult, but worth listening to multiple times!

I struggled a bit through the first few chapters, but then the foundation was made on which Dr. Peterson builds the maps of meaning, by example and application.
The book has given me good insight into, and overview of, some of the great philosophers and psychoanalysts in history.
Dr. Peterson uses the archetypal stories to not only make his point clear, but also as his point that these stories are useful to tell us how to behave in this world.
As a physicist, I appreciate his scientific approach to most of the subjects, and the occasional parallel to paradigms in math, chemistry(alchemy) or physics.

This book is quite deep and I'm sure I could benefit from listening to it multiple times!

Would recommend, but start with "12 rules for life" if you haven't read/ listened to it yet.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-18

Stunning

This book, although a commitment, is the epitome of what one should consider fascinating; every page holds information that may change your perception of life forever, I simply cannot recommend it enough. This being said, the book was not and is not intended for less academically abled audiences, in that if you have immense difficulty with understanding relatively sophisticated ideas easily, then perhaps you should watch the YouTube Lectures first, or gain experience before revisiting this adventure. The money was more than worth it, and the feature of the Peterson’s own voice for the narration has been greatly appreciated. For new buyers: Have fun and stay committed!

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew Brown
  • 11-04-18

Probably easier to read

Firstly, I LOVE the author, and thought ‘12 rules for Life’ was outstanding. It’s great that Jordan narrates this book.
However I’m struggling, especially as it is in this format. It is written more as a academic report than a book as such, by that I mean it is a lot to take in by ear and some of the language is (while undoubtably precise) a little complicated. If I had the book I would need to reread many paragraphs to understand the exact meaning.

I would recommend “Rules for life” to anyone.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 06-13-18

Pure brilliance

this is an absolutely brilliant listen. JBP nails "life" as we know it and cuts through all the political correctness madness out there so brilliantly. We need this man to save western society...

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Lipo
  • 09-15-18

Disappointing from an inspiring author

This is, unfortunately, the most frustrating book I've purchased. I'm a big fan of the author and listen/watch as much of his content as I can find. This book was, at times, unnecessarily convoluted and often uncomfortably repetitive. I couldn't understand why so little was said in so many words. it's not an easy listen by any stretch and I often completed a chapter feeling like I hadn't been exposed to anything that hadn't already been said. I might be missing something but I'm confident I'm not. Very disappointing book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • D.Ashton
  • 02-03-19

Over Elaborate

Most may use the expression " The cat sat on the mat" I feel jordan may prefer to express it this way " The Mysterious Feline creature aIighted on the horizontal fiberous textile" .
I do like Jordan Peterson on visual media, and maybe I am a little out of my academic depth with this material. But my personal experience was that I found this work over elaborate and convoluted. Whilst I do admire full and clear expression, this just became to a little too obtuse and difficult for me to fully engage with.
However, someone with a deeper understanding of this psychological genre and a richer vocabulary than I posses, may well report to the contrary..
As to the vocal quality, Jordan did become a little monotone to my ears, but again, maybe this was influenced by my failure to deeply engage with the subject matter, who knows?
I have shelved this book at the 2nd chapter for the time being and may return to it when my... "capacity for auditory perseverence is able to extrapolate the intentellectual inference intended by the textual and verbal expressions of the author."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-19

Impenetrable, dull and will remain unfinished

I enjoyed Peterson's 12 Steps and had hoped this would add further depth. Perhaps it did if you are a specialist in the field, but as an audible book (and I suspect a hard copy) it was beyond my patience to finish it. Life is just too short.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ariel
  • 07-04-18

No one could wish this book to be longer

I like Peterson but I think no one could wish this book to be longer. It seems to go on and on forever. Some parts are good, mainly when he focusses on experimental (or at least descriptive) psychology. When he tries to create his own system of philosophy (to call it something) the book derails:
The prose is too convoluted, full unnecessary iterations of nouns and adjectives such as: Chaos is the serpent, the dragon, the devouring creature from the deep, the all engulfing primeval darkness, etc., etc. or Culture is the father, the known, the place where we feel secure, home, etc., etc. (I am making these two up but the book is full of descriptions like these). It reminds me of the sort of postmodernist crap Jordan snorts at. Also many themes repeat themselves several times over in the book. I think the Inquisitor scene in The Brothers Karamazov is discussed at least 3 times! By the end I found myself starting up chapters and then skipping them altogether. In the last chapter Jordan recalls telling his dad "I think I discovered something no one has any ideal about and I am not sure I can do it justice", I'm with him on that one

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Michele Peghini
  • 08-10-18

The meaning of life

This is a very difficult book, but a very important one. It definitely changed the way I see the world and the way I conduct myself. I struggled with the written version, but I've found the audio book more accessible, and I definitely enjoyed it.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-18

Amazing truth

Listen and listen some more .
Until you know who you are ,self knowledge Will give you the freedom.To know the truth.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-31-18

A massive intellectual endeavour

A brilliant piece of work aimed at helping us orient in a world bookended between chaos and order

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Grant Dewar
  • 06-13-18

a map for the hero's journey

Professor Peterson narrates his groundbreaking work to successfully bring together philosophical, psychological, evolutionary and biological theories to unite the great mythologies and religions as a way to explore the meaning of life.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-24-18

Maps of meaning - required reading

To put it simply, this may be the greatest book ever written, decisively so if one includes within it all the works that it references. Even a brief understanding of this work will likely change your life for the better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-27-18

Reflective

A great book to exercise the mind in ways of thinking. It's long, but ends too soon.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Eliana Negri
  • 08-30-18

Insightful and thorough analysis of the principals of evil

Peterson masterfully paints a historical picture of how the birth of good and evil affects us all in modern society, pulling from myth, story, and life this sometimes challenging textbook outlines the concept of evil in the human psyche. Was a pleasure to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-18

That's a tough book.

Pretty grueling to get through in places, but it delivers a lot of value. A bit repetitive, but that seems to be the norm with academic books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Julian Smith
  • 06-27-18

Excellent

A dense and complex book - hard work, and definitely worthwhile for those who need to know the myth that animates them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-18-18

Sick shit

So deep, it will plunge you into darkness if you are a chicken. So uplifting it will make you vacuum the house fast af if you are ready to face your fears. it might even clean up your life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful